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Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is “any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives.”

Who are volunteers?

Anyone can volunteer in sport and physical activity. You don’t have to be a player or a parent to get involved in helping out. Nor do you even have to have an interest in a specific sport or activity. There are a large number of different roles that you can get involved in, so whether you want a new challenge or want to use the skills you have developed at work or school, there is something for everyone.

What do volunteers in sport and physical activity do?

Volunteers in sport are the largest contributor to the voluntary sector, the variety of volunteering roles is enormous.

Some of the roles volunteers can help with include:

  • Coach/leader
  • Official/referee
  • Administrator/coordinator
  • Welfare Officer
  • Steward/marshal
  • Chairperson
  • Fixtures Secretary
  • One off events
  • Web design
  • PR – marketing, press releases
  • Photography

How much time does it take?

The time varies according to the role you choose. Being honest with yourself and others about the level of commitment you can give will help you find the right role for you (even if you can give just 1 or 2 hours a month). You’ll find that there are many opportunities to volunteer that require only occasional involvement and a minimal amount time, as well as a large number of opportunities that you can dip in and dip out of.

Whatever your contribution, it is an invaluable part of the making sport and physical activity happen. Many sports clubs and organisations, produce role outlines so that you, as a volunteer, know exactly what your role and contribution will be.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteering is a two way process with the organisation AND the volunteer gaining from the relationship.

As a volunteer you could benefit from:

  • A sense of pride and achievement
  • The opportunity to refine skills and develop new skills
  • Being able to effectively show your commitment and your skills for your CV
  • Real participation in the community
  • Enjoyment, satisfaction and meeting new people (having fun!)

As a club/organisation they can benefit from:

  • An enthusiastic source of support
  • You injecting new ideas and energy
  • You helping them to do things not otherwise possible

Is there room for me to volunteer?

There is always room for volunteers! You may just need to be pro-active in finding your ideal volunteering role. Whether you want to be a walk leader or newsletter writer, a club secretary or event organiser the volunteer role is out there. Whatever you can contribute in terms of time and expertise will make a huge difference and ensure that we can continue to offer such a broad range of sport opportunities in this country.

Do I need to get a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check?

A DBS check (disclosure) is a mechanism for organisations to ensure that individuals working with young adults and vulnerable adults are appropriate to do so. A club or organisation offering opportunities with young people or vulnerable adults will carry out a DBS prior to most placements.

What type of training will I receive?

This depends on your placement. Training that is offered can vary to meet the needs of the role.

What are my chances of getting a job through volunteering?

By volunteering you can up-date your CV and gain valuable work experience such as communication, inter-personal and organisational skills. Volunteering can also provide a useful stepping stone into paid work if you have not been working for some time.

How long will it take to start volunteering from registering?

This again depends on the placement you choose. Some are simple to set up and you can start straight away and others can take longer because the nature of the role requires training or police checks.

Will I be paid expenses?

This depends on your placement.

Will volunteering affect my benefits?

If you are on Job Seekers Allowance you can volunteer as long as you are still actively looking for work. If you are on incapacity benefit you will have to check whether volunteering will affect your entitlement.